TIFF’s Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes (right) with director Michael Dowse at TIFF 2010. Photo by Christopher Drost/Torontoist.
TIFF released a whole wash of new programming announcements for this year’s festival (September 8–18, save the dates) this morning. Instead of overloading with sneering sarcasm, we’ll just recap the highlights. And also add a bit of sneering sarcasm. It’s hard to take anything seriously before noon.
The Midnight Madness programme, the late-night slate of genre flicks and Asian oddities which, for a lot of people, is the only programme worth tracking at TIFF, announced its impressive, eclectic lineup, including nine (count ‘em, nine) world premieres. At TIFF 2010, Adam Wingard’s mumblecore serial killer picture A Horrible Way to Day screened in the Vanguard programme, which didn’t help leaven its seriousness. But Wingard’s follow-up, You’re Next, a home-invasion thriller, will hopefully embrace it’s genre moorings, as suggested by its placement in this year’s Midnight Madness programme. And speaking of home-invasion thrillers, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustill, the directors of 2007 Midnight Madness hit À l’intérieur, return with the world premiere of Livid.
Screechy-voiced comic Bobcat Goldthwait is back behind the camera with God Bless America, about an out-of-work schlub on a killing spree. Eduardo Sanchez (the director of The Blair Witch Project, not Don Johnson’s character on Eastbound & Down) also appears in this year’s lineup, with Lovely Molly, which sounds like it’s about childhood and psychosis and a descent into madness. And Asian-cinema fans needn’t worry, because the new film from Japanese cult director Katsuhito Ishii, Smuggler, will also make its world premiere. Also, films about: coke-smuggling cops (Sleepless Night), the Jakarta slums (The Raid), hitmen (Kill List), rock bands stuck in asylums (The Incident), and the post-apocalypse (The Day). A lot of “the” films, it looks like. We will prematurely declare this the year of the definite article.
Hate genre movies? Hate fiction altogether? Well don’t sweat it, hater, because TIFF’s doc programme, Real to Reel, also announced a fat slate of titles. These include new films by Jonathan Demme, Werner Herzog (who makes like nine films a year), Morgan Spurlock (ditto), and Frederick Wiseman (who has always been insanely prolific). You’ll see docs about Sarah Palin, Paul Williams, skin bleaching, Canadian Eskimo dogs, hockey goons, and more, including Ron Fricke’s Baraka follow-up, Samsara. And in case you hate short films, or films of sensible length, Mark Cousins’ 15 hour doc The Story of Film: An Odyssey will be unspooling (…and unspooling, and unspooling) at TIFF 2011. Documentaries slotted for the Masters programme include Wim Wenders’ 3D doc Pina and, most excitingly, Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s This Is Not a Film. (If you don’t know, Panahi is an Iranian filmmaker on house arrest, banned from making films, hence his not-film.)
Also announced, a handful of Vanguard selections—films from young, cutting-edge filmmakers. You know, the ones you’ve never heard of. (But, like Adam Wingard, they may become huge, relevant names.) Title to watch include Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s Thai revenge film Headshot, Sebastián Lelio’s The Year of the Tiger (about a Chilean convict who finds himself sprung after the February 2010 earthquake), Justin Kurzel’s serial killer drama Snowtown, and Victor Ginzburg’s story set in an alternate-1990s Russia, Generation P.
It was announced earlier this year that the 2011 City to City programme would focus on Buenos Aires. “We found an impressive new generation of filmmakers in Buenos Aires and a thriving film culture,” said TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey in a press release. With the boom in the so-called “New Argentine Cinema” in the past decade or so, Buenos Aires seems a city ripe for the plucking. Films announced include: Alison Murray’s Argentine/Canadian co-production Caprichosos de San Telmo, Pablo Trapero’s seminal debut Crane World, Tamae Garateguy’s Pompeya, and a whole bunch more.
Finally, TIFF announced some picks in the TIFF Kids programme. But because we are adults, and not babysitters, we’re prepared to give that the short shrift. Just kidding. Kind of. But seriously, of note is a new film by Dreamworks Animation director Bibo Bergeron, who returned to his native France for A Monster in Paris. And it stars the Hebrew Hammer himself, Adam Goldberg.
Well, that’s all for now. We’ll keep you abreast the instant we hear more. Seriously. You’ll be the first to know.
TIFF 2011 runs September 8–18, 2011. For the complete list of today’s programming announcements, click here.